I DO! Mary Elizabeth Guard & Mark Vari Andriola
For Mary Elizabeth “Meg” Guard and Mark Andriola, finding love was all about timing. The couple met while they were both undergraduate students at Dartmouth College, but they didn’t start dating until after graduating. “We were taking classes with the same professor and met at office hours,” Meg recalls. “We quickly became friends and always kind of liked each other, but we were never single at the same time.”
Two years after graduation, the right time finally arrived. Meg and Mark reconnected at a mutual friend’s party in the Hamptons. “We spent the whole night talking,” she says. “I asked him to get drinks, and the rest is history.” The couple stayed on the east coast while Mark attended Yale Law School, but eventually, Meg’s own studies would bring her back to her hometown, St. Louis, as a student at Washington University School of Medicine.
In 2018, the couple dated long distance while Mark finished law school. When visiting St. Louis for Thanksgiving, he suggested that they walk their dog. It was an everyday occurrence, so Meg didn’t think anything of it. “He was walking slow and seemed nervous,” she recalls. “In the park, I thought I saw a person in black in the bushes watching us.” Everything became clear once Mark dropped down on one knee, and the dark figures in the bushes were revealed to be Meg’s mother and cousin. After the proposal, the couple went for dinner at Elaia, but Mark still had one more surprise up his sleeve: Meg’s extended family waiting at her apartment to celebrate the engagement.
Mark is originally from New York, and having different hometowns meant the couple had to figure out the best location to hold their wedding. To further complicate the planning process, they also had to work around Meg’s busy schedule as a medical student. “We landed on winter 2020 as the best time,” she says. “We always go to Palm Beach with friends for New Year’s. We love it and already planned on being there, so we thought why not get married in Florida.”
Meg jokes that the actual day of the nuptials was a blur but still filled with special moments. The place settings at the reception featured palm frond napkins, which her grandmother had picked out and were included as a surprise, and her uncle gave an emotional speech. “My father passed away when I was younger, and my uncle is my godfather,” she says. “His speech was both heartfelt and funny. Everyone was laughing and crying.” At the end of the night, the band pulled the newlyweds on stage and called all the guests to the dance floor. “It was amazing to see all our friends and family smiling up at us,” she notes. “That was a special moment.”
The couple enjoy traveling together, but unfortunately, the pandemic put their honeymoon plans on hold. Meg is a medical student, and Mark is a judicial law clerk with the Eastern District of Missouri. They live in Clayton with their greyhound, Zane.
ceremony | Royal Poinciana Chapel, Palm Beach, Florida
reception | Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida
gown | Romona Keveza
hair | David Hoffmann of David’s in Clayton Salon
florist | Tom Mathieu
music | The Social
maids of honor | Gabrielle and Natalie Guard
bridesmaids | Dawn Finzi, Jonele Conceicao, Laura Moriarty, Hannah Baldridge, Janna Wandzilak, Isabelle Ziebold, Helen Zell, Maria Sperduto
best man | Patrick Andriola
groomsmen | Nick Puliafico, Nelson Santry, Ram Sachs, Chris Looney, Sam Stern, Sam Bauer, Matt Haynes, Dan Adler, Ben Riley, Dan Bernhardt, JT Tanenbaum, Adam Schwartzman, Alex Welton, Mitchell Guard
bride’s parents | Elizabeth & the late David Guard of San Antonio, Texas
groom’s parents | Rocco & Susan Andriola of New York, New York